Jul 26, 2015 12:29 AM

Michelle Obama opens Special Olympics in Los Angeles

The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) Michelle Obama has welcomed thousands of athletes to the Special Olympic World Games in Los Angeles.

The first lady opened the games Saturday night at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, telling 6,500 athletes from 165 countries that she and her husband love them and are proud of them.

President Barack Obama earlier greeted the athletes by video.

A flaming torch carried from Greece was used to light the Coliseum's Olympic beacon.

The games are for those with intellectual disabilities. Celebrities ranging from Maria Shriver to Stevie Wonder praised the athletes' courage and determination.

It's the largest gathering of athletes in Los Angeles since the 1984 Summer Olympics.

The athletes will participate in 25 sports over nine days, ranging from weightlifting to the triathlon.


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